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This 1966 Dodge Coronet Is a Four-Door HEMI Unicorn Built for the FBI

1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan 6 photos
Photo: Corner Classic Car Hunter/YouTube
1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan1966 Dodge HEMI Coronet sedan
Introduced for the 1966 model year in street-spec guise, the 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) HEMI V8 remained in production through 1971. Arguably the most iconic Chrysler engine from the golden muscle car era, the HEMI found its way into around 11,000 cars spread across various Dodge and Plymouth nameplates.
All HEMI rigs are rare and sought-after nowadays, but some are scarcer than others. Convertibles are particularly hard to find because less than 200 left the assembly line with the mighty 426. The holy-grail list includes the 1970 Coronet R/T (two built), 1967 Coronet R/T (three), 1970 Road Runner (three), and the 1970 Super Bee (four).

But did you know that Dodge produced a very small run of four-door sedans with the 425-horsepower lump? It happened in 1966 when the company stuffed the HEMI in a handful of Coronet four-door sedans. The actual number is a bit of a mystery, but the consensus is that five sedans were fitted with the HEMI, which makes it a true unicorn.

One car was reportedly shipped outside North America, and one was sold in Canada. The other three remained in the United States. Two were ordered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All three US-sold cars have survived to this day. The white sedan you see here is one of those rigs.

Parked in the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Florida, the four-door is one of the two cars that were shipped to the FBI. There's not a lot of info on how it ended up in the museum, but it's been restored to original specifications and looks flawless on the outside and under the hood. And not surprisingly, it's a bit of a sleeper thanks to the white paint and the front bench seat.

But as mundane as it may look, this four-door HEMI is worth a fortune. I don't have a recent number to run by since these vehicles rarely hit the auction block, but a red example went under the hammer back in 2007 for a whopping $660,000. I'm not saying it's a million-dollar classic, but anything could happen in today's wild market.

The four-door isn't the only HEMI gem in Don's collection. He also owns a 1968 Coronet R/T, one of only 210 produced, and a 1970 Challenger R/T. These cars share the museum with other legendary vehicles, including a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang, a 1956 Chrysler 300B, and a 1949 Ford with every option available that year.

The museum is also home to Don's very first hot rod. It's a 1939 Ford Coupe he purchased in 1954, fitted with a 331-cubic-inch (5.4-liter) first-gen Chrysler HEMI and a Lincoln transmission. Don sold the car in 1956 but got it back in 1983 and restored it in 1987.

His private stash also includes a very special 1967 Ford Ranchero he purchased from famed engine builder Ed Donovan. Originally equipped with a 390-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8, this pickup was converted by John Garrison to a 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) "side oiler." You can check them all out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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